Pork Prices Spike Due To Pig Virus - WLNS TV 6 Lansing - Jackson | Your Local News Leader

Pork Prices Spike Due To Pig Virus

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(WLNS) - A virus that affects pigs has been reducing pork production all over the nation.

And now, it's been found in Michigan, but officials say you shouldn't worry about your Easter ham.

You may want to stock-up on other pork products before summer.

Like any other meat processing business Mert's specialty meats carries beef, chicken and pork.

However the recent Porcine Epidemic Diarrhea virus caused Mert's to raise the prices of most fresh pork products by 10 to 15 percent.

"We've had to. We could not afford not to increase the price. We've kept it down as far as we can," said Shirley Decker Prescott, Owner, Mert's Speciality Meats.

The virus, which was first discovered in the United States last year has now has made its way to most Michigan pig farms.

"It manifests itself in such a severe diarrhea that they dehydrate and just cannot survive," said Sam Hines, Vice President, Michigan Pork Producers Association.

The PED virus has killed approximately 6 million pigs this year, but has mostly affected sausage production. Here at Mert's Meats they say you don't have to worry about your Easter ham.

"Ham has not been affected, we did not see any increases in cost in ham. Only the fresh product," said Prescott, Owner.

This is because the ham was processed before the disease took its toll on the prices.

It's also important to know that pork is still safe to eat.

"Consumers cannot get the virus by eating pork. It's not a food safety issue, humans cannot get the virus," said Hines, VP, Michigan Pork Producers Association.

But because a vaccine for the virus does not exist yet pork prices are projected to rise even more during the summer, so now's the time to stock up on that bacon.

By Sharon Yoo, 6 News Intern

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